- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday that he’s pushing President Trump to allow people to buy health insurance across state lines.

“What I would do, and what I’ve been talking to President Trump about, is I think we should allow people to buy across state lines through health care associations, and actually I think the president is going to do this on his own within a week or two, and I think this could help millions and millions of people get affordable insurance,” Mr. Paul, Kentucky Republican, said on Fox News.

“It’s not a federal program, and it doesn’t cost any money. This is what Republicans ought to get behind instead of a big government boondoggle,” the senator added.

Mr. Paul said the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, known as ERISA, could allow Mr. Trump to authorize groups of people to buy health insurance across state lines. He argues there is an interpretation Mr. Trump can use to justify allowing inter-state insurance sales, which he argued would dramatically lower the price of insurance and still protect those with pre-existing conditions.

“We believe that with an interpretation, the Trump administration can allow everybody that works at McDonald’s to buy their insurance all as one. Groups across the country, even if they work at different companies, [can] buy it through something like the National Restaurant Association,” he said. “If 15 million people could get together to buy their insurance, guess what? They’d get a cheaper price, they’d get protection against pre-existing conditions, I think they’d get most of the things they want.”

Mr. Paul did not specify when or how the president would execute this plan or what role it would play in the ongoing insurance debate. He did say that he will not support the current health care replacement plan that Sens. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, and Bill Cassidy, Louisiana Republican, are trying to move through the Senate this month calling it another “Obamacare lite.”

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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